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Prestigious NSF STEM Grant Continues Scholarships for Reed Students

Scholarships will be focused on first-generation students and those from groups currently underrepresented in the sciences.

Portland, OR (October 12, 2012)--Reed College was awarded $584,859 from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships for Science Engineering Technology and Mathematics Program (S-STEM). The money will fund need-based scholarships to prepare academically talented students for work in STEM fields or entrance into graduate programs in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. The grant funding replaces loans in the recipients' financial aid packages for their final three academic years at Reed.

“That Reed has been able to obtain two awards from this highly competitive NSF program speaks to our historical strength in producing mathematics and science majors and in sending Reed alumni to mathematics and science graduate programs,” said Acting Dean of the Faculty Patrick McDougal.

The purpose of the five-year grant is to improve retention among mathematics and science majors. The current grant replaces funds provided from a previous NSF S-STEM grant, which ended in September. The new grant will support three new cohorts of 12 to 13 students annually for a total of 38 STEM Scholars. The scholarships will include funding for thesis research or conference travel.

The new NSF S-STEM grant, Reed will continue to make a concerted effort to award students who are the first-generation in their family to attend college and those from groups currently underrepresented in the sciences, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, women, and people with disabilities. The first cohort of awardees will be sophomores in fall 2013.

"One of the great aspects of bringing students together in a cohort model is that it helps to create community, but even better is that in this case the community reaches across scientific disciplines," said Biology Professor Suzy Renn. "I think creating an interdisciplinary experience is extremely valuable for these students. It exposes them to information, and a way of seeing things, they might not get otherwise and that should be very useful for future careers in science and math."

In addition to Renn, the project team includes Arthur Glasfeld, professor of chemistry; David Perkinson, professor of mathematics; Darrell Schroeter, professor of physics; Leslie Limper, director of financial aid; and Mike Tamada, director of institutional research. Faculty members will organize interdisciplinary science and mathematics speakers in conjunction with this award over the next four years.